TSM signs a $210 million naming rights agreement with crypto exchange FTX

TSM has signed a naming rights agreement with the Hong Kong based FTX Trading LTD.

As of Friday, the Los-Angeles based esports team TSM has gone into a partnership with FTX Trading. TSM will be rebranding itself as TSM FTX, and get paid $210 Million for it. The Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange company will be making the payment spread over the course of 10 years of the contract.

This means TSM will be paid $21 Million annually; establishing itself as the most expensive deal made in the esports industry to date. The company will use its new name in all future esports titles it participates in. This includes popular titles like Apex Legend. However, Riot has barred TSM from using FTX’s logo in name or sports jerseys in any and all of its events. This includes  VALORANT broadcasts and League of Legends.

Chris Greeley, who is the Head of Esports for NA and OCE at Riot Games, also stated:

“The TSM and FTX sponsorship deal does not break any LCS sponsorship rules, but crypto exchanges fall under a category of sponsorship that carries activation restrictions. As a result, TSM’s new naming convention and FTX brand placement on TSM jerseys will not apply to the LCS or other Riot Games esports in North America.”

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This is what the CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried told New York Times about the sponsorship:

“Taking a huge industry and then reimagining it in a digital age: that’s sort of what e-sports are to sports, and it’s sort of what crypto is to investing and to finance” 

This sponsorship definitely rivals all other deals that have been made in the sports industry in the past. TSM will use FTX’s name in all stadiums and arenas it is affiliated with. Some examples include MetLife’s agreement with the Giants and Jets which pays $19 million a year, Citibank’s contract with the Mets which pays $21 million a year, as well as British Bank Barclays’ deal with the Nets, which pays $20 million a year.

However, unlike those sponsorships, TSM will have to change its name just like the New England Patriots, who had to rebrand themselves as the New England Patriots Gillettes for playing in the Gillette Stadium.

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